Dream Homes, Surreal Estate

Love HGTV Dream Homes? Check Out These 8 Common Features!

We highlight eight of the most common features of HGTV Dream Homes, PLUS our top tips for incorporating them into your own home!

You all loved our deep dive into the history of previous HGTV Dream Home winners, but it really got us thinking….what makes an HGTV dream home, a dream home? Is it a spacious kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows or perhaps sweeping backyard views? We took a look at the homes over the last decade and found eight of the most common features, and included our top tips for incorporating them into your own home!

Formal Front Porches

Front porches have been regular staples of several past HGTV dream homes — and for good reason! Having an outdoor area to drink your morning coffee or enjoy your favorite book is a simple addition that makes your house feel a little more like a home.

If your home doesn’t have a front porch, you can always improvise with a small, covered trellis in the front yard, or by hanging a bench swing if you’ve got a large tree.

Unique Fireplaces

If you take a look at HGTV’s fireplace selection from the last ten years, each year’s seems bigger and bolder than the last. Similar to an outdoor porch, fireplaces aren’t exclusive to cozy mountain cabins or New England cottages. Even homes in sunny, subtropical Florida have them, because it’s basically a universal truth that nothing says, “home sweet home” like lounging around a cozy fire.

 If you don’t have a fireplace in your home, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out! Plug-in fireplaces can give you the fireplace look without gutting your home. 

Statement Staircases

HGTV Dream Homes love grandiosity; they’re huge, immaculately designed and make a statement from all angles. Many of the designs incorporate a staircase into that wow factor, like 2013’s contemporary bamboo setup with vibrant artwork, or 2016’s more luxe approach.

If you’re like the rest of us and live a bit more meagerly, you can still make yours a statement staircase! Consider painting the railings a bold color, or adding a gallery wall that travels all the way from top to bottom. Or, take a cue from the sleek, minimalist example above. The possibilities are endless!

Impressive Guest Space

Part of the charm of HGTV’s dream homes are having the space to entertain guests. From 2013’s elegant, classic Indigo-themed oasis to 2019’s bookworm retreat, each Dream Home guest bedroom aligns with the home’s overall theme with all the small touches of comfort a guest could want.

If you don’t have a huge spare bedroom to pamper guests with, that’s ok! Simple things like a crisply made bed, fresh towels, a bedside tray with water and cookies, or even a corner coffee nook can make your guest room feel like a ritzy hotel for anyone who comes to visit

Open Concept

Though it’s arguably waning in popularity as a must-have in 2021, open-concept floor plans have been common features in most Dream Home designs. The appeal, of course, is the effortless way it gives your kids room to run around, space for entertaining guests or simply makes your home feel light and airy.  

hgtv dream homes

If you’re living in a more segmented space but craving something more open, here are a couple tips: 1.) Hang mirrors with simple, neutral borders. 2.) Don’t use dark colors for wall paint or window fixtures, as it visually closes off a space. 3.) If you have a non-structural wall, but don’t want to completely sacrifice having a separated space, consider cutting out the top half of the wall and adding in removable partition.

Grand Kitchen Island

Within the last decade of designs, grand kitchen islands have been elemental to HGTV Dream Homes’ lavish kitchens! If you’ve got an island, we have a feeling you understand the appeal of creating endless memories and sharing laughter around a strong focal point. 

hgtv dream homes

If space is an issue for installing an island (let alone congregating) in your kitchen, you can still create a focal point for entertaining! Consider opening up one of the kitchen walls and installing a simple bar. If that’s not an option, use a leaflet table in your eating space; keep it small when hosting so guests can walk around and grab their food and drinks with space to mingle. For more formal events, you can easily extend it to seat guests without being cramped. 

Free-standing Bathtubs

Each HGTV Dream Home’s stunning standalone tub makes us want to jump on in! These timeless additions add a spa-like experience to your space; we’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t appreciate a good soak with some candles, soft music, and a glass of wine.

hgtv dream homes

Ok, so there’s no easy solution to installing a tub if you don’t have the space for one; but if space is tight, you can still elevate the spa factor in your shower with scented shower bombs, faux eucalyptus and a small shower chair. If you do have the space for one, check your local furniture thrift shops or keep your eyes open for local hotels or older apartment buildings doing renovations; chances are you can snag a tub for pennies on the dollar compared to buying new! 

Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

In the last decade, grandiose windows have been incorporated into many Dream Homes, offering scenic views of serene snowy afternoons or early morning sunrises. For homes with rich, deeper undertones, having large windows help draw in natural light to counterbalance darkness. In homes with a lighter, neutral theme, large windows help accentuate the brightness with an added warmth. 

HGTV dream homes

If you don’t have monster-sized windows, you can maximize the light you have by choosing light-colored window dressings and hanging mirrors on the opposite walls to create the illusion of more windows!

If you’re looking to include any of these amenities in your next remodel, check out our blog for the latest DIY home projects, trends and tips to give your home a dreamy, luxe feeling all the time! 

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Andrea is a recent college graduate who loves writing, social media and coffee! She loves covering celebrity home listings, keeping up with the latest style trends and working with the Homes.com team!

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